Volunteer clean-up after protest turns violent in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Violent protesters left a trail of destruction in downtown Cleveland on Saturday as they made their way through the city.

The day started with peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, but it didn’t take long before the vandalism and looting started.

Downtown Cleveland Residents asked Saturday night for volunteers to help with the clean up efforts once the city’s curfew is lifted. Sunday, they revised that to ask for help from just those who lived downtown. Others who lived outside of the area were asked to stay home and stay safe.

Many turned out to help with the clean-up effort Sunday.

Businesses in the downtown area were targeted throughout the night. Heinen’s grocery store on Euclid Avenue suffered major damage and is now closed indefinitely.

This video was taken by a witness who watched as people smashed out windows.

CVS pharmacy was also hit by looters who ransacked the store. SkyFOX was hovering overhead as dozens ran in and out with whatever they could grab.

Mayor Frank Jackson and Police Chief Calvin Williams condemned their actions.

“We are disheartened by the turn of events from a peaceful expression of First Amendment rights to outright lawlessness and attacks on Cleveland Police officer and firefighters,” they wrote in a joint statement.

They also asked business owners impacted to respect the current curfew and wait until Sunday to check on their properties. The City of Cleveland plans to work closely with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance to address the vandalism.

Read more on the protests, here.

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